The Water Street redevelopment project in Ypsilanti remains a work in progress. Now, a state agency has raised some red flags over unsafe levels of environmental contamination on the property. In this week's edition of 'Issues of the Environment' those concerns are addressed by the city's Director of Community and Economic and Development, Beth Ernat.
* According to MSHDA, excessive levels of dangerous environmental contaminants are still present on the Water Street property that Ypsilanti has positioned to develop as Section 8 housing and as part of Riverwalk Commons.
* The contaminants present include PCBs (lead, arsenic, cadmium), PNAs, and VOCs with varying toxic effects, including kidney, liver, and nerve damage, immunological disorders, brain and blood disorders (particularly in developing children and fetuses), bone loss, lung damage, lowered IQ and cancers.
* Beth Ernat is Ypsilanti’s newly hired Director of Community and Economic Development. She addresses the issues from the city's perspective.